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Northern Saskatchewan Administration District

The Northern Saskatchewan Administration District (NSAD) is defined in the province's Northern Municipalities Act, 2010. This area's creation dates back to The Northern Administration Act, 1948, which provided for the administration and development of the northern part of Saskatchewan.

Northern Communities

The NSAD covers approximately half of Saskatchewan's land area. However, it accounts for only three per cent (35,986) of the province's total population. There are over 70 communities located across the north and according to the 2021 Census; 51 per cent of the NSAD population lives on-reserve and 69 per cent are Registered or Treaty Indian.

Thumbnail map of the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District
Click on image above to see a larger map or download the
printable map of the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District.

The District

The District is considered a single northern municipality and includes:

  • Northern settlements
  • Resort subdivisions
  • Upwards of 8,000 properties, including leases and titled properties

Basically, it encompasses all unorganized areas in the north with the exception of:

  • Park lands
  • Incorporated municipalities

The Minister of Government Relations governs the District and acts as its council. Funds to administer the District come from the Northern Municipal Trust Account. The Northern Municipal Trust Account Management Board is appointed to make recommendations to the Minister. The ministry's Northern Municipal Services branch acts as the District's local government authority.

Northern Economy

Although rich in natural resources, this sparsely populated region is challenged by limited infrastructure, and lower education levels and average incomes when compared to the rest of the province. The isolation of the communities creates special circumstances for northerners working to build their economy and their homes.

The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes these challenges and puts a special emphasis on helping people within the NSAD to realize their goals and to improve their standard of living. Government is strengthening key northern industries with an emphasis on:

  • Forging partnerships among northern agencies;
  • Stimulating mineral exploration, forestry development; and
  • Supporting the tourism and commercial fishing sectors.

Mineral Surface Lease Agreements

Northern Engagement works with Environment's Landscape Stewardship Branch to negotiate and administer Mineral Surface Lease Agreements for northern mines operating on Crown land in the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District. The leases are co-ordinated with various provincial government ministries and industry and address a range of issues to which mining companies must respond. They include land tenure, environmental protection measures, occupational health and safety provisions and socio-economic benefits for northerners.

Northern Engagement currently administers 12 Surface Lease Agreements. These Agreements cover former mine sites that are in decommissioning and reclamation stages, current operating sites and mine sites that are under construction.

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